Ginger Almond Plum Galette

This summer was beautiful. We went to plays in parks, on broadway, off-broadway and in our community. It wasn’t too hot, and the air conditioner took care of uncomfortable temperatures that didn’t soar high for too long. We hung out with friends, fine-dined and wined our way around New York City.

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

When the my boyfriend’s father was asked what type of birthday cake he wanted, he said, “It doesn’t matter, but make it with plenty of nuts.” The boyfriend’s father is health conscious and a martial arts instructor. He looks excellent for his age, because he’s always exercising, reading health-related books and playing music. Ask him any health-related question, and he has an answer. Such as repeatedly telling us how nuts are good for {blush} men’s reproductive health, and he explains why without the crass. The decision to make him a Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake — with plenty of nuts — was easy.
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Orange French Toast with Fresh Pears and Cherries

This year’s commercial love weekend is a lonely feast. My love package of Chocolate Chip Yogurt Cookies, Cornmeal Lime Butter Cookies, and Roast Lemon-Thyme Almonds was shipped last week for the West coast. In the spirit of maintaining a busy mind, this declared romantic weekend is full of freelance work.

However, I’m treating myself to Orange French Toast topped with fresh Pears and Cherries. This version uses stale Honey Wheat Bread made from scratch in my kitchen. French toast is not a popular breakfast dish, because it’s made with soft, commercial bread that has a longer shelf life because of the preservatives. The result is a French toast with a soggy center. It’s actually a recipe at its best with thick slices of French or Italian loaves (since moving to New York, I’ve discovered Challah is a buttery option, too). Such bread is fresh for one day. It’s a great bread to include in a romantically planned menu. I recommend serving half a loaf as garlic bread to accompany a meal of lasagna and salad. By the next morning, the loaf is hard and stale (slice it the night before if making French Bread). Using the mantra, “no food goes to waste,” day-old bread slices are temporarily soaked in a milk and egg mixture, before it’s lightly fried in a skillet. Read more

Cilantro Almond Pesto
Cilantro Almond Pesto

The other day, a friend curiously smiled as I discussed experimenting with a Cilantro Almond Pesto. With confidence, we talked about several versions of pesto, not being limited to the traditional ingredients of basil, cheese and pine nuts. The Witchy Kitchen blog made a Basil Sunflower Seed Pesto. The sunflower seeds are economically alternative to pine nuts. Although, Despite Nuisances I Will Be Happy’s blog creatively referred to her Arugula version as a spread; it’s still a derivative of a pesto. Aimée at Simple Bites, posted a recipe of the traditional basil pesto, and she offers ideas on how to incorporate it into recipes. This week, I pick up my household’s first CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) box full of greens, fruits, vegetables and eggs. In addition to prepping and cleaning the vegetables and fruits for proper storage that will extend their freshness, several of them will turn into a pesto and frozen for future use. Read more